Gender considerations are an important element of IB Psychology.
As the authors of 50 Great Myths of Popular Psychology, Lilienfeld, Lynn, Ruscio and Beyerstein point out, one of the most enduring myths concerning gender is that men and women communicate in completely different ways. Given popular culture’s depiction of male and female differences in communication style, it would be easy to conclude that men and women are a different species or as one pop psychologist famously wrote, men are from Mars and women are from Venus. Gray’s hugely influential book first published in 1992 has sold over 40 million copies.
Research into gender has posed the following questions:
- Do women talk more than men?
- Do women disclose more about themselves than men?
- Do men interrupt more often than women?
- Are women more perceptive about nonverbal cues than me?
Empirical studies reviewed by Lilienfeld and his colleagues indicates that on average men and women generally speak about 16,000 words a day; that women are only slightly more likely to self-disclose and that interrupting conversations is more a function of social status than gender. However, there was support for the last question that women are more perceptive about nonverbal cues.
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